Navy Plans to Revive Arctic Patrols

The Navy announced Monday that it is sending warships to patrol Arctic waters for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Patrols by the Northern Fleet's Severomorsk submarine destroyer and Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser will begin Thursday, Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said. "We have been talking for a long time about widening our activity in the Arctic," Dygalo said. "There is nothing aggressive in it."

Russia began sending aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean Sea in December and resumed long-range bomber patrols in August. Russia has also been moving to stake its claim to resources that are increasingly accessible as global warming melts Arctic ice.

Moscow sent an expedition to plant a Russian flag on the seabed under the North Pole and said research indicates that a massive underwater mountain range in the area, which is believed to contain huge oil and gas reserves, is part of Russia's continental shelf.